Prius Goes Plural with Two New Models
DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the Prius family of vehicles today at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. In addition to the current third-generation Prius and Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), the new Prius v midsize hybrid-electric vehicle and the Prius c Concept vehicle joined the iconic hybrid brand, broadening the appeal of Prius to all ages and lifestyles.
With the expansion of the Prius family, a new evolution of vehicles will further increase the acceptance of hybrids with Prius’ same core values of high fuel economy, low emissions, proven technology and environmental stewardship.
“This is no ordinary family. It’s a modern family with a Prius for everyone,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “The Prius v is an all-new dedicated hybrid vehicle, and all future Prius family members will be as well. They will all share common Prius attributes but will be unique, with a special appeal to different buyers.”
The Prius midsize liftback has accounted for more than 955,000 sales in the U.S. since it was introduced in 2000. The third-generation Prius, which reached dealerships in June 2009, has continued the hybrid’s heritage of exceptional fuel economy and low emissions, while becoming the third-best selling Toyota passenger car in the U.S.
The Prius has also been a technological flagship vehicle, offering new features to the Toyota brand like Touch Tracer Display, Solar Powered ventilation, Smart Key System with Push Button Start, Lane Keep Assist, an Advanced Parking Guidance System and LED headlamps.
Prius v: “Versatility” for Young, Active Families
The new Prius v, with “v” expressing the vehicle’s versatility, will meet the needs of growing families with active lifestyles while providing the same attributes traditionally found in the Prius DNA. It will share the current generation Prius’ platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Featuring a compact exterior yet spacious interior, the Prius v will feature over 50-percent more interior cargo space than the current Prius.
With a balance between outstanding spaciousness, refined style, and smooth aerodynamics, Prius v has a low 0.29 coefficient of drag, which does not inhibit the vehicle’s convenient packaging. It is a new vehicle designed from the ground up, with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version.
The exterior styling is sleek, rounded and bold, with an extended roofline that allows the vehicle to retain the triangular silhouette symbolic of Prius. The trapezoidal-shaped front features sharp-edged headlamps, wind-slipping aero corners for improved aerodynamics and an enlarged under grille, which all help create a unique design evolving from the current Prius. Prius v’s rear styling is highlighted by a refined backdoor panel, intricate combination taillights and a specially designed roof spoiler that improves air flow.
Inside, the Prius v emphasizes overall proportion with spaciousness and flexibility for active families. Comfortable interior space and good visibility has been assisted by a high seating position, ample head room, and an impressive 38-inch couple distance, providing generous rear legroom. A low, wide-opening rear hatch reveals 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, making it the most spacious dedicated hybrid vehicle on the market and better than some compact SUVs.
Comfortable seating for five is specifically designed for young families. Sliding second row seats allow for easier ingress and egress and rear-storage flexibility, with a 45-degree recline for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide excellent usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo.
Also available, and a Toyota-first, is a resin Panoramic View moonroof with power retractable sun shades that provides an open atmosphere in the cabin with a 40-percent reduction in weight as compared to conventional glass roofs of the same size, and excellent heat insulation performance.
Up front, instrument-panel controls, including a single-dial air-conditioning control and a center-mounted digital combination meter, provide an advanced look and user-friendly command. The driving controls – including the Push Button Start, parking switch, electronic shift lever, and driving mode selection – are distinguished by silver trim.
Despite the spaciousness of a family friendly midsize vehicle, the Prius v will deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined, the best fuel economy ratings of any SUV, crossover, or wagon on the market. It will also emit 66-percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle.
Like the current generation Prius, the Prius v is a showcase of technology that will include many of the same standard features. Four driving modes (Normal, Power, Eco and EV) satisfy a variety of road conditions and driver preferences. A Smart Key System with Push Button Start, an electronic shift lever, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and a back-up camera are standard. Available options include energy-efficient LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with a Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Advanced Parking Guidance System.
For a high level of safety, there are seven airbags, a high-strength cabin and an energy-absorbing body structure with impact beams, cross members and leg absorption pads. New driver and front-passenger seat design helps lessen possible whiplash injury during a collision.
Like all Toyota models, the Prius v will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.
Prius v will be one of the first Toyotas with the Entune™ multimedia system. For the first time ever in an automobile, this innovative new system leverages the mobile phone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated and wireless upgradeable navigation, entertainment and information services.
Toyota Entune debuts the first-ever support for engaging mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, news and sports.
Toyota Entune brings the largest selection of music options available to a vehicle, including iheartradio’s 750+ stations, Pandora’s personalized music, the driver’s personal songs from portable media players and iPods (via USB or Bluetooth audio streaming), and more than 170 stations from XM satellite radio.
Featuring a best-in-class, advanced conversational voice recognition system that helps the driver to stay focused on the road, Toyota Entune eliminates the need to memorize thousands of voice commands and helps reduce driver distraction.
Entune will also allow for audio read-back and replay capabilities for text messages, with the ability to respond by pre-set “Quick Reply Messages.”
Prius v will combine Entune with a standard Display Audio system rich with dynamic entertainment and communication features. The system will include HD Radio with iTunes tagging for future purchase; XM radio, weather, sports, stocks and local fuel pricing; Bluetooth hands-free phone and wireless audio; and full iPod integration including music and video.
A new evolution in hybrid vehicles with excellent cargo space and Prius’ heritage of environmental performance and fuel economy, the 2012 Prius v will go on sale in late summer 2011.
Prius c Concept: Small “city”-centric Hybrid Vehicle
While the current Prius has ushered hybrid technology into the mainstream, and the Prius v will provide the additional room and versatility for active families, compact shoppers are interested in a smaller hybrid at an entry price point and with superior fuel economy. The Prius c Concept, with c representing a “city”-centric vehicle, will appeal to young singles and couples who want an eco-sensitive, high-mileage, fun-to-drive Prius.
This dynamic vehicle with urban appeal will pursue outstanding fuel efficiency in a compact package, while also providing a surprisingly spacious interior. It will include many advanced technology features, including some offered on the current Prius.
Prius c Concept is the inspiration for an additional Prius family member that will come to market in the first half of 2012 as the most value-oriented hybrid in the U.S. market with the highest mileage of any “cordless” hybrid.
Prius Plug-In Vehicle: the Best of Both Worlds
Since its initial launch 10 years ago, one of the Prius’ main efficiencies has been a hybrid system with its own on-board recharging system that never needed to be plugged in to take people where they wanted to go. With the addition of new technology and shifts in the market, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is the family member that represents the best of both worlds – the superior fuel economy of the Prius with added EV driving capability.
Depending on driving conditions, Prius Plug-in can be driven approximately 13 miles on battery power at speeds up to 60 mph. Its compact Lithium-ion battery provides less weight and a quicker recharging time, taking three hours on 110 volts and 1.7 hours on 220 volts. It can be “topped off” anytime with a convenient short charge.
After the EV power is depleted, the Plug-in performs like an economical third-generation Prius, the most fuel efficient midsize hybrid vehicle in America. Unlike pure EVs, it will be a seamless transition for consumers, with the only difference from a regular Prius is that it can be plugged in at convenient intervals.
Currently, more than 150 Lithium-ion-battery powered Prius Plug-ins are part of a demonstration program in several U.S. cities. The program’s goal is to demonstrate plug-in technology, educate and inform the public, evaluate performance, and better understand the benefits to future customers. This will help pave the way for an on-sale target in the first half of 2012.
The Plug-in will be initially offered in 14 West and East Coast states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Virginia and New Hampshire) where nearly 60 percent of all Prius models are currently sold. Availability in all remaining states will be a year later.
When it comes to market, the Prius Plug-in will represent the most eco-sensitive and advanced choice within the Prius brand of products.
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